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Friday, Dec 13, 2019

‘Wasn’t a vacation’: AAP says Centre blocked Kejriwal’s foreign trip

“This is unfortunate and beyond my understanding that why Modi ji’s government is working with such hostility towards us,” AAP leader Sanjay Singh said after the chief minister failed to get approval from the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).

india Updated: Oct 08, 2019 16:34 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
According to official sources in the Delhi government, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal was scheduled to leave for the summit at 2 pm on Tuesday.
According to official sources in the Delhi government, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal was scheduled to leave for the summit at 2 pm on Tuesday.(Mohd Zakir/HT PHOTO)
         

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Tuesday launched a broadside against the Centre over what it called the denial of permission to chief minister Arvind Kejriwal to visit Denmark for a climate summit.

“This is unfortunate and beyond my understanding that why Modi ji’s government is working with such hostility towards us,” AAP leader Sanjay Singh said after the chief minister failed to get approval from the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) for C40 Climate Summit visit in Denmark, reports news agency ANI.

“He wasn’t going on vacation but to hold discussions with Mayors of 100 cities of Asia and present a better picture of our country on efforts to abate pollution. How many official visits of CMs have been cancelled till date? We applied a month ago but couldn’t get clearance,” Singh added.

There is, however, no official confirmation of permission for travel being denied to Kejriwal.

According to official sources in the Delhi government, the chief minister was scheduled to leave for the summit at 2 pm on Tuesday. “The Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) has not yet received political approval from the MEA for the CM’s visit to Denmark,” a source said, reports PTI. The summit is scheduled to begin on October 9 and conclude on October 12.

In response to media query on this issue last week, the MEA had said a decision on the issue is taken based on multiple inputs.

“I do not answer query specific to political clearance. And if you understand how it functions, we get hundreds of requests for political clearances every month from ministries, secretaries, bureaucrats. A decision is based on multiple inputs,” MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar had said.

In September last year, Kejriwal had travelled to Seoul in South Korea to sign agreements between Delhi and Seoul.

According to the rules of the Central government, all ministers and bureaucrats require this clearance for any official foreign tour. An official said that whereas Delhi was still waiting for permission, the Centre has “granted clearance to West Bengal urban development minister Firhad Hakim”.

C40 is a network of the world’s megacities committed to addressing climate change. Kejriwal is scheduled to speak on the Delhi government’s experience in lowering pollution, including the odd-even road space rationing arrangement, and other related issues.

Invited as the leader of one of the world’s largest metropolises, Kejriwal was supposed to join leaders of cities such as New York, London, Paris, Los Angeles and Berlin to deliberate on the climate crisis.